Designing Knitwear – Chapter 3

Designing Knitwear - Chapter 3

Designing Knitwear – Chapter 3

Ah, Chapter 3. This chapter almost killed my blog writing. I didn’t think I’d get through it. Don’t get me wrong – good info – amazing info as a matter of fact. The problem for me was that there was so much text. In this blog I’m glossing over lots of stuff about ease, fit, armholes, sleeve types, but I didn’t want to loss the reader. It was all covered in this chapter.

Chapter 3 - a spread of text

Chapter 3 – a spread of text

OK! You get the idea about the text. It made me appreciate Deborah Newton so much more. What a mind that could put this all down on paper. Although there were charts and illustrations, I wish that some of the explanations would have been a bit more point-by-point or in more charts.

Chapter 3 - Necklines

Chapter 3 – Necklines

The neckline chart is well-done. As you can see, I took to underlining various sections that I thought were important. It helped to get through this information.

Chapter 3 - Skeleton Chart

Chapter 3 – Skeleton Chart

The Skeleton Chart was brilliant. Graphing actual body measurements and then graphing the actual sweater over the skeleton makes a visual to help you see how the sweater will fit on a knitted sweater.

Chapter 3 - Calculating all the essential points

Chapter 3 – Calculating all the essential points

This page boils down the 30 + pages of the chapter to the essential. What you learn is how to design or alter your own sweater.

Chapter 3 - body measurements

Chapter 3 – body measurements

Learning to take and record body measurements is essential to designing a sweater. Deborah gives good advice about taking these measurements. Notice that I’ve underlined the cross shoulder measurement. I must admit that I never knew where this was found on the body.

Onward to Chapter 4 that focuses on designing with Knit & Purl Stitches. I know that this will certainly be easier and I promise gather steam and not to fade into the woodwork!

http://www.amazon.com/Threads-Book-Designing-Knitwear/dp/B000N5YJW2/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431981478&sr=1-7&keywords=designing+knitwear

Designing Knitwear by Deborah Newton – Part 1

Designing Knitwear by Deborah Newton

Designing Knitwear by Deborah Newton

Instead of more simple books I’ve done lately, I thought I’d tackle a more “meaty” book. This one I realize will have to be done in a few parts. Love, Love Deborah with all her wonderful words of wisdom, but her book is what I like to call “text heavy”.

Designing Knitwear - back cover

Designing Knitwear – back cover

I love this wonderful photo of a vintage Deborah. Her smile is infectious and one of the many things I love about her. Designing Knitwear was published by Taunton Press in 1992. They are best known for the magazine Threads.

Designing Knitwear - autograph by Deborah

Designing Knitwear – autograph by Deborah

Thumbs up or down – This page seals it! I could never get rid of this book with Deborah’s wonderful autograph. Note her quirky illustrations. They are a signature look of all Deborah’s design submissions and often used in various knitting publications.

Chapter 1 - Learning to See

Chapter 1 – Learning to See

The first chapter is devoted to learning to use visual details to begin to create your own designs. Deborah talks about her design process and how to use the book. A good way to understand designing.

Chapter 2 - Designing With Yarn

Chapter 2 – Designing With Yarn

All designs begin with the most essential part of the design – yarn choice and swatching. She covers all the basic animal and vegetable fibers as well as synthetic and novelty yarns. Deborah also goes over various yarn weights. I wish there were a chart included, but the Craft Yarn Council Standards on Yarn Weights came out after this book was published. This packed chapter also covers basic stitches such as garter stitch and stockinette and also how to estimate yarn amounts.

Designing Knitwear - sketching and swatching

Designing Knitwear – sketching and swatching

Learning how to work with swatches to create designs is an important beginning.

Schematics and What If...?

Schematics and What If…?

Good charts and alternate ideas make this book a keeper. The Three-Part Shawl seems a bit outdated, but having other ideas of what to do with squares is very helpful.

I’ll continue with Chapter 3 with Fit & Silhouette for the next part. It covers 36 fully-packed pages!

By the way, I’m off for a knitting trip with Behind the Scenes Adventures on April 24th http://btsadventures.com/argentina-uruguay-for-knitters/. It looks like this book will take me most of May to complete!

http://www.amazon.com/Designing-Knitwear-Paperback-Deborah-Newton/dp/B00BWDQHNI/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1429223380&sr=1-7&keywords=designing+knitwear

 

Crocheting School

Crocheting School - A Complete Course

Crocheting School – A Complete Course

Crocheting School has no author listed. It is a Italian translated book published by Sterling Publishing in 2002.

Crocheting School - back cover

Crocheting School – back cover

What did I think? I’ll give this one a thumbs up (with reservations).

Single Crochet - basic stitch

Single Crochet – basic stitch

I admit that I always like drawn illustrations of techniques rather than photos. Photos of the finished stitches are fine, but it’s sometimes hard to understand how-to’s from photographs. It’s pretty clear that this book has a European slant and would be  bit difficult to use for a real novice. I would suggest it for a learn-to-crochet, but overall it has redeeming value that I will discuss later.

Crocheting in rounds

Crocheting in rounds

Notice the clever use of illustrated hand holds with photographs of yarn. I thought this was a very interesting way to show a technique, but didn’t go quite far enough.

Two-color patterns

Two-color patterns

I kept looking for the two American favorites – Granny Squares and the Ripple Stitch. I found the Granny, but not the Ripple.

Crochet Edgings

Crochet Edgings

The section on edgings is very good, although we would probably not use the term “trims”.

Filet Corners

Filet Corners

This is a new technique to me and is one of the reasons that I gave this a thumbs up. I would definitely refer to this type of explanation.

Crochet Interlocking Rings

Crochet Interlocking Rings

Another clever technique that I might use in the future.

Crochet Circles

Crochet Circles

Circles into squares – this is a real basic for granny square lovers. These circles/squares are a bit more advanced. This gives me another reason to keep the book!

 

http://www.amazon.com/Crocheting-School-Inc-Sterling-Publishing/dp/1402708319/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427154809&sr=8-1&keywords=Crocheting+School

Crafting a Colorful Home

Crafting a Colorful Home by Kristin Nicholas

Crafting a Colorful Home by Kristin Nicholas

It looks like 2015 is going to be the year that I break all my self-imposed rules. The ultimate broken rule – getting rid of books on my bookshelf. I read Kristin’s blog, Getting Stitched on the Farm about this new book. New or old, I had to have it! The other one of Nancy’s rules soon to be broken is my  “non-aquistion” mode – thus this blog. Unfortunately I already own so many books, collections old stuff, textiles, yarn and much, much more. Kristin’s love of antiques, collections, yarn, textiles inspired me to throw my rule right out the window. I wanted to go to Brimfield and acquire, acquire, acquire!

Crafting a Colorful Home by Kristin Nicholas, A Room-by-Room Guide to Personalizing Your Space with Color delivers not only fantastic color, but lots of creative inspiration. It’s published by Roost Books (2015).

Crafting A Colorful Home - back cover

Crafting A Colorful Home – back cover

I’ve known Kristin for about 30 years (or so she says in her autograph in my book). Everything she touches turn into colorful masterpieces. This isn’t her first book. I have several others that I’ll try to get to this year. I also own a few pieces of her pottery from the days that she was pottering. I’m obviously a fan!

Autograph page

Autograph page

I ordered a book directly from Kristin and she included the book plate shown below.

Kristin's name plate

Kristin’s name plate

Dedication page

Dedication page

Kristin dedicated the book to her good friend, the talented Sally Lee.

Intro page

Intro page

I started to read the intro and didn’t realized how soon I would enter into an insider’s view of life on the farm and how Kristin colors up her traditional farm house. I found this the most interesting part of the book.

making mosaic pots

making mosaic pots

The instructions of making unique pots from broken china were so clear, I felt like I could easily do this.

Mod Granny Throw

Mod Granny Throw

Of course as a knitter/crocheter, this was my favorite project in the book. I love the colors she used to update this traditional technique.

Swatch Patchwork Throw

Swatch Patchwork Throw

My second favorite project is the Crazy Quilt Swatch Blanket. Kristin talked more about this throw in her blog than the two-page spread in the book. I have tons of swatches that I’ve squirreled away. I want to drag them out and start on this project.

My other favorite was sections were the varied ways that Kristin used felt fabric to make pot-holders and coasters. Brilliant!

Definitely a Thumbs Up book. I will refer to this book, if only to get a color fix and get ideas for things that I can do to my house to bring colorful elements into the mix.

By the way, her explanations of varies ways to use paints is really well-done. Good instructions. Makes painting sound do-able!

 

http://www.kristinnicholas.com/ProductDetail.cfm?index=128&CustID=1444919

The Knittng Way – Part 2

The Knitting Way

The Knitting Way

I’ve been spending time in Chapter 3 of The Knitting Way. This chapter is so packed with info – my head is spinning! My big discovery is the web site for the book – theknittingway.com. If you get a copy, check out the site. It is a good add-on to the book.

So where to start… Chapter 3 is called Sacred Space so I’ll begin there.

The Yin and Yang of Knitting begins to discuss the knit side and purl side of knitting and the differences be the stitches. Knit stitches are vertical and purl stitches are more horizontal. Makes a lot of sense even if you’ve never thought about it.

Next comes combos of knit and purl stitches in the same rows (otherwise known as ribbing).

knit and purl combos

knit and purl combos

I did the sampler called “Experience it for Yourself”. I didn’t do the requested 20 stitches, but instead made mine with 12 stitches. It begins with knit 1, purl 1, then knit 2, purl 2, moving on to knit 3, purl 3 and ending with knit 3, purl 2. It does clearly show how different numbers of knits and purls contract or don’t contract. I didn’t do the mistake stitch or knit the welt version that has horizontal rows of knits and purls.

I’m skipping a few sections about knitting loops and the connections, knitted mirror writing and dropping stitches to see how a piece changes measurements.

I loved the section on primary, secondary and tertiary colors. Good primer on color – even on black and white pages!

The last section of Chapter 3 is about knitting a version of a Log Cabin Quilt. Describing the way that these quilts are created with light, lighter, lightest and dark, darker, darkest colors makes so much sense. Oh and one extra color for a center square. The Mitered-Corner Log Cabin Square is definitely something I want to try. It speaks to the orderly “Virgo Me”. I wasn’t crazy about the second version called a quilted square.

Chapter 4 is called “The Stories of Our Projects”. It’s about 30 pages so this will be the subject of the next part of The Knitting Way adventure!

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Knitting-Way-Guide-Spiritual-Self-Discovery-ebook/dp/B00CBY4OMS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1422303642&sr=1-1&keywords=the+knitting+way

Jean Frost – Jackets

Jean Frost Jackets from XRX is my next book selection. It was published in 2003 after I left XRX although a couple of the photos were done on my watch. I’ve been thinking about Jean since I saw her at Stitches East a couple of weeks ago. She is now 88 years old and still going strong, although she has turned her teaching stint to her daughter Dawn.

Jackets_cover

 

Amazon’s review says that: These jackets are real-life knitting for women with real lives. My take on that comment is that the book is for real-life knitting for “working” women with real lives. For a “retired” woman, the book doesn’t fit in my current life. So for that reason I’m giving it: thumbs down, but not for the usual reasons.  I’m not totally ditching this book. It’s going to a good new home – that of my BFF’s daughter, Kirsten.

By the way, this book is still a widely available trade paperback book and not out-of-print.

Jean Frost

Jean Frost

Jean looks lovely in one of the jackets featured in the book.

Jean Frost Jacket back cover

Jean Frost Jacket back cover

With 21 classic jackets, this book is a bargain. I love that she talks about the knitted pieces as the fabric as you would for traditional jackets.

stitch_patterns

In addition to the jackets, there a several spreads of texture and color stitch patterns if you are inclined to create your own jacket. The end of the book features info on fit, size, taking measurements and yarn. All you need to know to make a jacket that you can wear for years.

Devonshire Jacket

Devonshire Jacket

I love the Devonshire Jacket with a classic collar and a 3-color stitch pattern that looks woven.

Copley Jacket

Copley Jacket

The Copley Jacket is a simpler one-color piece. I include it because it is styled with one of my hats!

http://www.amazon.com/Jean-Frost-Jackets-Fabric-Finish/dp/1893762157/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414005390&sr=1-1&keywords=jean+frost+jackets

Louisa Harding Duo – more patterns are going!

LH_covers_new

Two books (soft back) are on the table today. Both are from talented designer Louisa Harding. Both are out-of-print, but available on Amazon and elsewhere as used books.

Although the designs in these lovely collections are really nice and beautifully designed and styled (especially the Magical World for young ladies), I’m making classifying these books in the Thumbs Down category. My ruthless streak continues!

Modern Classics (published in 2006) has over 20 designs and even after 8 years they are still wearable and easy to knit.

Modern Classics by Louisa Harding

Modern Classics by Louisa Harding

I did love a few of the designs. They would be ideal for anyone making classic sweaters that will be in style for many years to come.

Basic Pullover

Basic Pullover

Fitted Cardie

Fitted Cardie

Fitted Pullover

Fitted Pullover

Modern Classics Back Cover

Modern Classics Back Cover

 

The 2nd book, The Magical World According to Miss Millie (published in 2006) is a really fun and flirty  collection of patterns. While the majority of the patterns are for little girls, there are 4 featured classic styles for little guys (look at the back cover). The sizing is for ages 3-10.

The Magical World According to Miss Millie

The Magical World According to Miss Millie

I love the thumbnail index that shows all 20 designs at a glance. Perfect for times when you are searching for a certain style.

Magical World Index

Magical World Index

Love, love the pretty shades, bohemian styling and incredible photography.

Ollie & Lily styles

Ollie & Lily styles

Hat Girls

Hat Girls

The Magical World According to Miss Millie - back cover

The Magical World According to Miss Millie – back cover

 

http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Classics-Twenty-Timeless-Designs/dp/1564776441/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413491399&sr=1-2&keywords=modern+classics

http://www.amazon.com/Louisa-Harding-Magical-According-Millie/dp/B000YFFYQG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413491450&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Magical+World+According+to+Miss+Millie

Loop-d-Loop by Teva Durham

loopDloop_cov

My next book is Loop-d-Loop by Teva Durham. It’s also a book by Melanie Falick and published in 2005. In full disclosure, I know and worked with Teva and also know the photographer of this book – Adrian Buckmaster. They are both extremely talented – Teva in design and use of yarns and Adrian in photography. I’m a fan of both of them.

By the way, if you love the quirky styles and interesting designs in the book – it’s out of print, but you can get copies – including mine!

I’m giving this book – thumbs down.

Why you ask? It’s a beautifully created book – I would expect nothing less from Melanie. It has a well-thought out layout and interesting photos. My problem is that none of the projects appeal to me. They are a little over the top and slightly out of fashion. I’m being ruthless in my quest to reduce my overflowing library!

Back Cover

Back Cover

Below is a sweater that Teva original did for Interweave Knits that she is updated. She says it was very popular and I do agree that it looks like an easy one to knit and is one that would look good with jeans or something more dressed up. Teva does add clever details to all her projects and this is clearly one of her signature look.

Lace Leaf Pullover

Lace Leaf Pullover

The last photo is a clever scarf and I really like the braided effect. This doesn’t mean I’m making this book a “keeper”. I just wanted to end with a positive spin!

Braided Neckpiece

Braided Neckpiece

http://www.amazon.com/Loop-d-Loop-More-Novel-Designs-Knitters/dp/B005FOI92C/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412894722&sr=1-1&keywords=loop+d+loop

Cables Untangled

Cables Untangled - paperback and hardback

Cables Untangled – paperback and hardback

Guess what happens when you have way too many knitting/crochet books? You buy the same book twice. Guilty! The main problem is which to keep. The paperback is lighter and if I’m thinking about books by pounds, I definitely should keep it. On the other hand, the hardback is really nice and firm and is likely to stay intact on the book shelf. Decisions, decisions!

Cables Untangled - trade paperback

Cables Untangled – trade paperback

Cables Untangled - hardback

Cables Untangled – hardback

 

I’m not sure which cover I like, but I think the hardback cover is more appealing.

So down to the book – I’ll give this one a thumbs up.

I’ll start by talking about the author, Melissa Leapman. She is a designer, teacher and author. Her hand in this book, published in 2006 is evident though out.

The illustrations are very well-drawn and cover lots of info on creating all sorts of cables. There is info on working from cable charts, although there are many variations used in creating cabling symbols and the ones shown in this book might not be ones a knitter would find in other publications. Techniques and abbreviations are covered throughly. I really like the way the book has been laid out so that all of this important info precedes the patterns.

illus

illus_2

 

The charts are also very clear and make the knitting of the projects much easier.

stitchpats

If I had one beef about the book, it’s the size of the photographed stitch patterns in the Cable Stitch Pattern Dictionary. I wish they were a larger size. That said, there dictionary is extensive and organized by yarn color of the swatches to group patterns such as allover cables and cable panels neatly into sections.

Some of the projects I like are following. Note that the ones I liked the best are all home decor. I wasn’t such a fan of the fashions, although there was one really nice man’s sweater.

Sampler Afghan

Sampler Afghan

Aran-style Afghan

Aran-style Afghan

Entwined Cables Pillow

Entwined Cables Pillow

 

Cables Untangled - backcover paperback

Cables Untangled – backcover paperback

Cables Untangled - backcover handback

Cables Untangled – backcover handback

 

http://www.amazon.com/Cables-Untangled-Exploration-Cable-Knitting/dp/0307586480/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411333946&sr=1-1&keywords=cables+untangled

 

 

 

 

Handknit Holidays – Another Melanie Falick book

newhandknit_holiday

 

 

 

Another Melanie Falick book – Handknit Holidays seemed like a good one to review. I thought for sure that this one would be an easy in and out book and I could pat myself on the back having removed another book from the sagging bookshelf. The first section featuring all sorts of holiday designs made me think that this was just another book of patterns that don’t interest me. Delving further into the book, I changed my mind. I might later change my mind but for the first pass this book is staying.

Looking on Amazon, looks like this book published in 2005 is available in a digital format.

Final answer: Thumbs Up!

 

What’s good? The photos are “Melanie worthy”, good clear layout of patterns plus a good section at the end on Special Techniques and Abbreviations (although no illustrations). Betty Christiansen who’s work I’ve admired worked on this book with Melanie.

handknit_bc Back Cover

What follows are a number of patterns that made me think twice about “deep sixing” this volume.

diamond_throw Community Afghan – the intro suggest this as a project for a group. Squares are all knit in garter stitch.

hoodie Cardinal Joy Hoodie – Given in 3 chest sizes, it’s pretty hard to figure out the actual size child this would fit. Hoodies are perfect for kids of all ages and this one (I’d do without the pocket design).

socks

Log Cabin Socks – This look like they’d be really fun to knit. I’m not sure if they’d be practical to wear with shoes, but would be great under boots.

triangle_scarf

 

Snowy Triangle Scarf – The modular construction of this scarf (and hat) looks like a really knitterly project. Nice way to try out the technique without making a really big project.

http://www.amazon.com/Handknit-Holidays-Knitting-Year-Round-Christmas-ebook/dp/B009SYI0BU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1410039446&sr=1-1&keywords=handknit+holidays